uNEW YORK (AP) — A New York father who left his 1-year-old twins in the car while he worked an eight-hour shift told police, “I blanked out. My babies are dead. I killed my babies,” prosecutors said Saturday.
Juan Rodriguez, 39, told the officers he thought he had dropped the twins off at day care before he went to his job at a Bronx hospital on Friday, according to a criminal complaint filed by the district attorney’s office.
“He carried on with his day,” the New York Post reported that Assistant District Attorney Jaime Breslin told the judge at Rodriguez’s arraignment. “He forgot his children in the seats.”
Rodriguez sobbed as he pleaded not guilty to two counts each of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and endangering the welfare of a child. He was released late Saturday on $100,000 bail. He is due back in court Aug. 1.
Investigators believe Rodriguez parked a silver Honda Accord with the twins, Phoenix and Luna, in carseats in the back. It appeared that he drove off after finishing work before realizing the children were in the car and frantically summoning help, police said.
There’s an average of 39 heatstroke deaths of children locked in cars nationwide per year, according to kidsandcars.org , a website that tracks the deaths. It says as of July 16, there had been 21 this year.
Temperatures in the Bronx reached the mid-80s on Friday.
uPICKUP TRUCK HITS HOME, KENTUCKY WOMAN IN LIVING ROOM KILLED: MARION, Ky. (AP) — Police say a woman sitting in her living room was killed when a pickup truck struck her home in western Kentucky.
State Police in Madisonville said in a news release that 72-year-old Mary C. Bass of Marion was pronounced dead after the crash Saturday night.
The statement says a preliminary investigation shows a pickup truck driven by 43-year-old Christopher Hill of Marion failed to stop at an intersection, drove across a lawn and into the home.
uNAVY SEAL TEAM 6 MEMBER CHARGED IN SEXTING CASE: NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A member of the Navy’s elite SEAL Team 6 has been charged with soliciting nude photos of women while pretending to be someone else through text messages.
The Virginian-Pilot reports that Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron Howard is accused of impersonating several different people.
The newspaper reports a general court-martial has been scheduled at Naval Station Norfolk.
Howard’s attorney Michael Waddington says the case should be dismissed. He says investigators didn’t find any nude photos on Howard’s phone, and he passed two polygraph tests.
Waddington says the only thing linking his client to the messages is that whoever sent them said he or she was stationed in San Diego and liked to work out with kettle bells. He says that could apply to any number of SEALs.
SEAL Team 6 is famous for being the unit that killed Osama bin Laden.
u5-YEAR-OLD CREDITED WITH SAVING 13 FROM CHICAGO HOUSE FIRE: CHICAGO (AP) — A 5-year-old boy is being credited with saving 13 people from a Chicago house fire.
Residents say Jayden Espinosa awoke to smoke and flames just before 4 a.m. Saturday and alerted others to the danger.
Seven adults and six children who lived in the 2 1/2-story brick home in the Back of the Yards neighborhood were left homeless. No injuries were reported.
Nicole Peeples says that without the boy’s warning, “I don’t think we would have survived.”
Peeples says she smelled no smoke and “the fire alarms never went off. I’m so glad he was there.”
uPOLICE: DEAD NEWBORN FOUND IN SUBURBAN DALLAS RESTAURANT: IRVING, Texas (AP) — Police in suburban Dallas are investigating the death of a newborn, who investigators say was left in a trash can after being born inside a restaurant’s bathroom.
Irving police say the infant was found Friday afternoon inside the bathroom of an Applebee’s restaurant.
Investigators believe the baby was born in the bathroom and was then put in a trash can. Authorities haven’t said whether or not the baby could have been stillborn.
Police say the baby’s mother then left the restaurant and that they’re still looking for her.
The newborn’s body was found about 30 minutes after the mother left by restaurant employees who were cleaning the bathroom.
uLAWMAKER BLASTED FOR SAYING US MIGHT LOOK LIKE SOUTH AMERICA: PHOENIX (AP) — A veteran Arizona legislator is apologizing while defending herself from criticism for comments she made on immigration and birth rates.
The Phoenix New Times posted audio of a July 15 speech during which state Sen. Sylvia Allen said a flood of immigration and low birth rates among whites amid a lack cultural assimilation mean “we’re going to look like South American countries very quickly.”
The Republican from Snowflake, Arizona, who is white, also said the U.S. has to regulate immigration so the country can provide jobs, education, health care and other needs.
“We can’t provide that if people are just flooding us and flooding us and flooding us and overwhelming us,” she said.
Wendy Rogers, a Republican running for the state Senate seat now held by Allen, issued a statement Saturday denouncing Allen’s comments as “very racist” and said Allen should retire from the Legislature.
Democratic state Sen. Martin Quezada told the Arizona Republic that the “tone and perspective” of Allen’s remarks on migrants were “insulting, to say the least.”
The Arizona Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee in a statement compared the comments to those of former Arizona Rep. David Stringer. In June 2018, the Prescott Republican said there “there aren’t enough white kids to go around” in the United States and called immigration “an existential threat.”
Allen in Facebook posts Friday and Saturday apologized “to anyone who has been hurt by her words.” But she said her comments on immigration and birth rates were largely based on research by a respected demographer.
“Sadly, immigration has become a most contentious issue in our country,” she said in one of the posts, mentioning that she supports legal immigration and that her extended family sponsored a Laotian family “and helped them to assimilate into our country.”
Later, in a comment on her Facebook post Saturday, she thanked people who spoke in support and added, “Verbal Lynching is the political tool used today to silence debate on critical issues.”